Special Guest Op-Ed from Mitt Romney: The president shapes the public character of the nation. Trump’s character falls short.
It is well known that Donald Trump was not my choice for the Republican presidential nomination. I would have preferred literally anyone else, including three children standing on top of one another in a trench coat pretending to be an adult.
After Trump became the nominee, I expected that his campaign would refrain from resentment and name-calling. Sure, everything Trump has ever said or done indicated that, if anything, he would double-down on the resentment and name-calling but I have the pure, innocent heart of a very stupid, very gullible child. I still believe in the Easter Bunny, the Tooth Fairy, Santa Claus and Donald Trump’s fundamental decency and integrity.
So I really did believe that a hate-fueled wannabe mobster and sexual predator would transform into a paragon of Presidential decency immediately upon taking office. I have been disappointed in that respect and several others.
I apologize profusely if this seems mean, or represents hitting “below the belt” but there have been times when I feel that Trump has expressed himself in a matter that I found excessively coarse, even, dare I say, vulgar. It brings me no pleasure to say this, but Trump’s language when discussing women and minorities has not always been kind. There have even been moments when Trump “took it too far” and said things I objected to. I hope I’m not burning any bridges by saying so, but Trump could generally comport himself in a rather more gentlemanly fashion.
In his two years in office has Trump exhibited the unassailable moral conviction of someone like Abraham Lincoln or Franklin Delano Roosevelt? It pains me deeply to have to say this, but I feel he has not risen to that bar.
Don’t get me wrong. This op-ed is not about policy differences. I wholeheartedly agree with pretty much all of Trump’s policies, even the cruel, racist and vicious ones you would imagine go against my fiercely held religious beliefs. I even agree with Trump when he contradicts himself wildly, when he says and does things even he doesn’t seem to believe. But I don’t know why the Trump’s administration cannot execute sadistic, racist and immoral policies in a more agreeable fashion. Would it kill the people tearing families apart at the border to smile more and be more polite in the language they use? To smile more? Maybe wish people a nice day? I think not. I believe in something called “compassionate Conservatism”, which is like regular Conservatism only politer.
If President Trump were to ask me to kiss his ring, literally or metaphorically, I would do so in a heartbeat if it meant a cabinet appointment or endorsement or even a few words of praise in person or on social media. If he asked me to get down on the floor and bark like a dog in exchange for a Secretary of State position for even a single stormy month I would happily get down on all fours and be the happiest puppy dog anyone has ever seen! Bark, bark, bark! I’m not too proud to beg, or to bark!
And if Trump insisted on calling me “Secretary Rover” or a nasty name for female dogs I am forbidden to use or made me take a big “doggy dump” in front of other cabinet members, or the press to humiliate me I would happily accept such good-natured, or even not-so-good-natured abuse as a more than acceptable price to pay for my bottomless political ambition.
If Trump were to invite me to his glamorous palace at Trump Tower and have me eat dinner with his gorgeous wife Melania or his handsome, dignified, classy and extremely intelligent sons Donald Jr. and Eric I would be so appreciative and so grateful it would move me to tears.
Yet I feel I must, for the time being, express my displeasure with some of Trump’s behavior in the most milquetoast, mealy-mouthed, hypocritical manner imaginable. Trump will have no choice but to respect us soft, passive establishment Republicans once he sees that we’re willing to make pathetic, wishy-washy criticisms of him that we’ll instantly forget the moment we need something from him or if his habitual cruelty towards anyone who has ever criticized him softens into something less transparently sadistic.
The President sets the moral tone for a nation. That is why I am using the unimpeachable moral authority that comes with continually and very publicly changing my position on Trump based exclusively on how it might benefit my career to implore the President to please be at least incrementally more pleasant and less terrible.
Alternately, I’d like position in Trump’s horrible garbage fire of an administration. Of the two, I would honestly prefer the awful job working for a monster but if that doesn’t happen, and it might not, I would at least like to have it on record that I spoke out against Trump slightly more than I praised him for purely pragmatic, political reasons.
So, you know, I got that going for me, which is nice.
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